AIMS: To quantify the association between myotonic dystrophy (DM) and cardiac disease in a nationwide cohort. METHODS AND RESULTS: We identified a nationwide cohort of 1146 DM patients (period 1977-2011) using the National Patient Registry (NPR) and a subcohort of 485 patients who had undergone genetic testing for DM1. Information on incident cardiac diseases was obtained from the NPR. We estimated standardized incidence ratios (SIRs) of cardiac disease compared with the background population, overall and according to selected diagnostic subgroups (cardiomyopathy, heart failure, conduction disorders, arrhythmias, and device implantation). In the DM cohort, SIR for any cardiac disease was 3.42 [95% confidence interval (CI) 3.01-3.86]; for a cardiac disease belonging to the selected subgroups 6.91 (95% CI: 5.93-8.01) and for other cardiac disease 2.59 (95% CI: 2.03-3.25). For a cardiac disease belonging to the selected subgroups, the risk was particularly high in the first year after DM diagnosis [SIR 15.4 (95% CI: 10.9-21.3)] but remained significantly elevated in subsequent years [SIR 6.07 (95% CI: 5.11-7.16]). The risk was higher in young cohort members [e.g. 20-39 years: SIR 18.1 (95% CI: 12.3-25.8)] compared with older [e.g. 60-79 years: SIR 3.99 (95% CI: 2.98-5.23)] but remained significantly increased in all age categories. Results were similar in separate analyses of the genetically confirmed DM1 patients. CONCLUSION: Myotonic dystrophy is strongly associated with cardiac disease. The risk is pronounced in the young and remains elevated throughout life, stressing the importance of lifelong cardiac follow-up from time of DM diagnosis.
European Heart Journal, 2014, Vol 35, Issue 32, p. 2158-2164